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Backpacker Magazine – March 2009

Review: Therm-a-Rest Comfort System

Tired of that foamy sleeping pad? Upgrade to this customized comfort system

by: BACKPACKER Editors and contributing writers

Therm-a-rest Comfort System (Courtesy photo)
Therm-a-rest Comfort System (Courtesy photo)

Bed
Whether you're hunkering down in a tent in the Costa Rican jungle or hut-and-hostel surfing through Europe, use this three-piece system to create a versatile warm-weather bed. First, buy a Fitted Sheet for your Therm-a-Rest pad (sheets come in three sizes, $21 to $25). Sheets fit snugly, and they'll work with similar inflatable foam pads of any brand. Made of soft, brushed polyester, the sheets feel like 400-count Egyptian cotton when the alternative is having your cheek pasted to a clammy sleeping pad. Next, choose your quilt: the 40°F Ventra Down Comforter ($200, 2 lbs., pictured) or the summer-weight (unrated) synthetic Tech Blanket ($50, 1 lb. 5 oz.). Snap the blanket to the sheet and climb in. The system is much roomier than a mummy bag, making it ideal for big guys and toss-and-turners. "The snaps along the sides, plus the drawcord at the foot, gave me tons of ventilation options," said our tester. Both quilts come in regular and long sizes. thermarest.com. Reader service #119



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READERS COMMENTS

Hal
Mar 31, 2009

Back to the drawing board. A down quilt for 2 lbs?? A number of UL makers have been far below one lb with their quilts.

Good concept but the implementation needs work.

chad
Mar 26, 2009

who ever the hell did this review must have been on drugs

John Harding
Mar 26, 2009

I just use a cotton hostel sheet/sack (under $20 and less then a pound) inside a lightweight bag. I climb into the sack and slide into a partially zipped sleeping bag, using it like a comforter. It works well from hot to cold. Covering the pad would be a nice touch when it's hot.

Trevor Banner
Mar 22, 2009

Big Agnes does it better. With the system listed, you're looking at nearly four pounds for the pad, sheet and quilt. Try any of the BA semi-rectangular bags listed around 2 to 2.5 lbs with any inflatable pad (not self inflating!) and you're in at around the same weight with a wider range of possible temperatures. As for price, I've found BA 2lb range bags on sale for well under $200 (some under $100). Add any pad and...well, you do the math.

Stuart Smith
Mar 20, 2009

I have this and wouldn't give it up. All of my gear is ultralight and this ia a great addition. I not only use it for summer, but also Spring and fall trips. I had been using a blanket, but there were to many drafts. I was more than comfortable at 35 degrees. I wasn't in a tent, but I did crawl into a Adventure Medical emergency bivvy, which wieghs under 4 ounces.

Meg
Mar 20, 2009

$200 for a 40-degree bag? Not in MY lifetime. The setup pictured does NOT look right for the Costa Rican jungle---which is what New England feels like in the summer. There are several light, $10 options for summer. The most comfortable summer top cover is a light blanket spread fully open. Great opportunity to stretch out without being confined in a zipper for a change. The place where I would invest the money is the mattress, not the sheet and expensive bag.

Doug Davis
Mar 19, 2009

Okay how or should I say why does a down 40 degree quilt come in at over 2 lbs in weight? Did they line it with lead bricks?

You can get a semi-mummy in 20 degree range for less than 2 lbs.

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